Old scheme still in place for housing grants for now

Despite an announcement that there would be changes to the eligibility criteria for those who are applying for a number of housing grants for older people and people with disabilities, the old criteria is still being used to assess applicants for the scheme.

The issue came up for discussion at the February meeting of the Ballina Electoral Area Committee this week. At the meeting Padraig Flanagan was giving an update on the housing issues in the area and informed the members that the council is up to date with all grant applications up to the end of last year. Fianna Fáil Cllr Annie May Reape asked Mr Flanagan what was the position with applications since the announcement of new criteria were announced in January and was there a new process for it?

Mr Flanagan told her that there was no change at present and the council was still processing applications under the older scheme as it have not been directed to by the Department of Environment to change it yet. This news was welcomed by the elected members of the council. The changes to the scheme include the raising for the age for the older person’s grant from 60 to 66-year-old and an increase in the contribution made by the applicant to the works.

The members were also informed that the council is still constructing one-off rural housing projects if the criteria for them is met. Independent councillor Gerry Ginty asked about the scheme at the meeting, Mr Flanagan told him that over the past number of years the council has done between eight and 10 one-off rural housing constructions in the county and the scheme was still open, but it depended on a number of criteria being met for the scheme.

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